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Book review: 'Code Name Scorpion' has romance, danger, disaster

"CODE NAME SCORPION," by Donna Gustainis Fuller, Walnut Springs Press, $17.99, 273 pages (f)

For those looking for a light read with lots of plot twists and predictable moments, "Code Name Scorpion" may need to be next on the to-read list.

On the other hand, a reader looking for depth and engagement will find this a skimmer.

Author Donna Gustainis Fuller hasn't left much out in this romantic thriller that has Willis, an undercover agent, trying to rescue his damsel, clear his muddied name and keep his friend's young daughter safe.

Ady — the little girl — is sweet but changes her allegiance from her missing daddy to Willis to Willis' girlfriend in a heartbeat.

Along the way, there are a few challenges for the characters, including a plane crash, an abduction, betrayals, fairly serious injuries and miraculous saves. There's a drug cartel involved.

Willis also joins The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gets baptized, gives his first priesthood blessing and woos his woman with simple kisses. The spiritual coincidences feel a little contrived, and there would be value in taking the time to really understand why the gospel of Jesus Christ suddenly matters to Willis.

"Code Name Scorpion" has a lot of action packed into its pages. The pace is nonstop and, at some points, a little exhausting.

However, it's simplistic in that everything that happens feels as if it's borrowed from a movie or television show.

The love interest falls for Willis pretty quickly and then swings from loving him completely to being furious and ready to walk away when he keeps secrets.

The violence is limited to blows to the head and near-misses with gunshots. The language is clean and sexual content is limited to just kissing.

It would be nice to have some time to learn to care about these characters, their relationships and their options.